Alan Twigg has written sixteen books and produced six television documentaries, dozens of award ceremonies and literary events, two university symposia and a music CD for poet and activist Bud Osborn. He is the publisher/owner of B.C. BookWorld, Canada’s largest circulation independent publication about books, founded in 1987, and he founded and manages a public service reference site for and about more than 10,000 B.C. authors.
In 2000 he became the first recipient of the Gray Campbell Distinguished Service Award for outstanding contributions to literature and publishing in British Columbia. He previously received the first and only ABPBC Media Award in 1988. In 2007, he became the second recipient of the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellowship in the Humanities at Simon Fraser University “to recognize and support leaders in the humanities who are not necessarily part of the academy,” and he also became the first Writer in Residence at the George Price Centre for Peace in Belize.
He co-founded the B.C. Book Prizes and the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness. He founded the VanCity Women’s Book Prize and the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award [www.georgewoodcock.com]. He was also involved in the founding of Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, when he was theatre critic for Georgia Straight, and he served on the founding board of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing.
His third book, Vancouver & Its Writers, the first of five volumes on B.C. literary history, was shortlisted for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize in 1987. First Invaders was shortlisted for the same award in 2005. That year he won First Prize in the Lush Creative Non-Fiction contest, sponsored by subTerrain magazine and his award-winning entry about the death of his father was re-published in the Utne Reader. In 2011, he received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts in Vancouver.
He was an editorial page columnist for The Province from 1995 to 1998. For five years in the 1990s he coordinated shipments of nursing supplies to Belize with the assistance of DHL. In 1999 he initiated a fundraising campaign for the BC Civil Liberties Association Defence Fund. He is currently on the Board of Trustees for the Vancouver Public Library, appointed by city council to serve a two-year term.
As a freelancer, he has contributed to various publications such as Quill & Quire, Georgia Straight, Globe & Mail, Toronto Star, Ottawa Citizen, Lived Experience, Macleans, Pacific Northwest Review of Books, etc. He has hosted a CBC television series and can be heard on CBC radio’s North by Northwest program in a segment called Turning Up The Volumes.
His book about soccer was adapted for global distribution by Reader’s Digest and he recently contributed the introduction to a new biographical study of Chekhov.
His twin brother Paul is a songwriter and musician who lived for many years in Belize.